Thursday, January 08, 2015

2014 Annual Lake Ozark Levels and Discharge Summary

Here it is, the complete daily summary chart for 2014.  It's done in a style that captures the daily highs and lows, starting level and ending level, along with the total discharge of the day. There's quite a bit of data in this one chart, and you'll need to download the full size for details.  

In general, 2014 lake levels conformed poorly to established guidelines.  The annual drawdown to bring the lake to its lowest levels came late in January, after a brief rise in levels, and was executed in very short order causing much damage along the Osage River (see Osage Tsunami). Summer levels were maintained at a comfortable 659'-660' level (full pool), but an early drop to 658' in late August was held beyond Labor Day. Lake levels in October actually reached full pool again but gradually returned to the expected level of 658' midway through November.  In late November levels once again deviated from guidelines to reach full pool and the lake finished out the year at its highest levels.

Here are some of the key data points for the year.

Most water discharged in a single period (hr): 38,778 cfs on Feb 4th at 8pm.  This is the only time Ameren reached the maximum discharge allowed by license.

Highest Lake Level:  660.20 on December 31st at 2am, a very unusual time of year for the highest level.

Lowest Lake Level: 653.74 on February 7th at 9am.  Typical.

Average Lake Level for the year:  657.82'

Osage River:  Range for the year was 551'-567' with the average being about 554'.

The head of the dam is the difference between the lake level (headwater) and the river (tailwater) and determines the power generating potential of Bagnell Dam.  The higher the head, the more power that can be generated.

Highest Head:  108.40 ft
Lowest Head:     87.26 ft
Head Average:  103.88 ft

Full size image (3MB jpg) here